By: Fabian Cotter, Photography by: courtesy Volgren Australia

VOLGREN has promoted Brenton McCallum to the role of engineering manager after Joaquim Gomes returned to Brazil to take up such a role at the Australian bus manufacturer’s parent company, Marcopolo, the company reports.

“Being involved from the outset of this new product family is motivating, as it will involve many new and exciting challenges to be overcome,” says Volgren's new head of engineering, Brenton McCallum.

The change is part of a restructure of the engineering team that began at the start of the year with the appointment of Gomes, and involved the alignment of Volgren’s engineering and design processes with those of Marcopolo’s, Volgren explains. The structure instituted in March, 2020, will remain the same.

Two ‘engineering leaders’ will report to the engineering manager as part of a team divided into two divisions: Product and Manufacturing.

McCallum says the new structure has improved the team and is looking forward to working with both divisions.

"The relatively recent addition of engineering leaders has proved to work extremely well. It empowers the leaders to make decisions and have a level of independence regarding their functional areas. It also sets up inherent levels of knowledge transfer of key skills and allows quick reaction to unforeseen circumstances," McCallum stated.

"Regarding the two engineering disciplines, I fully intend to enhance the relationship between these two areas of engineering.

"Both have important skillsets which, when working in unison, can only improve the product and manufacturing environment," he added.

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Volgren CEO Thiago Deiro says the company is already enjoying advantages from the new way of working.

"One of the key elements of the Marcopolo Way involves monitoring and control. This was something that Joaquim wanted to implement straight away within the office," Deiro stated.

"Through careful tracking and analysis of vital areas you can see where strengths, weaknesses, bottlenecks, inefficiencies and general areas of improvement are.

"It is very powerful to know exactly how the department is performing and how they can be improved," he added.

Deiro says McCallum has been able to hit the ground running, which is one of the many benefits of nurturing talent within an organisation.

"It is pleasing to see Brenton rise so quickly within Volgren. We have great confidence in his abilities and had no hesitation in promoting him. In fact, he has accepted two significant promotions in the space of a year."

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McCallum says he has much to look forward to in his new role and will keep a particularly close eye on Australia’s shift to zero-emission vehicles.

"There has been a big push recently from all levels of government regarding zero-emission vehicles, and this is a fantastic opportunity to show that Volgren can be an industry leader in this area," McCallum explained.

"Volgren received extremely positive feedback on our initial electric bus and we have begun work with other OEM chassis suppliers on their electric vehicles and other zero-emission technologies.

"Being involved from the outset of this new product family is motivating, as it will involve many new and exciting challenges to be overcome," McCallum said.

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